Summary: God redeems language and people groups by sending scouts willing to take on the giants.
<The Tootsie roll owl commercial launches the message>
Did you know that that commercial is almost 50 years old? It’s memorable. It points to a question, provides a practical experiment and even an answer. However, the wise old owl is only validating his own personal knowledge and experience so is that wisdom?
Dictionary.com defines wisdom as: the ability to think and act using knowledge, experience, understanding, common sense and insight.
I would love to probe those who wrote the dictionary.com definition because the more I ponder it, the more I wonder if the final word insight is a humanist nod to the Divine without referencing the Christian view of wisdom which is simply defined as a “fear of the Lord.”
It reminds me of a story...
There once was a king whose greatest desire was to gain absolute power over every square inch of his kingdom. He had succeeded in removing all obstacles to his complete control except one: the people still put their ancient God above the king. The king summoned his three wisest advisors to find a way to put an end to such worship. “Where,” asked the king, “where might the people’s God be hidden and so be made to vanish from their lives and cease to challenge my rule?”
The first advisor suggested hiding God at the summit of the highest mountain. “No,” said the king: “The people would abandon their homes and climb the highest mountain to search for their God.”
The second advisor proposed hiding the people’s God at the bottom of the sea. But the king rejected the idea as well: “The people would probe the ocean’s depth to find their God,” he said.
Finally, the third wisest advisor, a wrinkled and bent old man, spoke his advice in a hoarse whisper. “O mighty king,” he said, “hide the people’s God somewhere in their everyday lives. They will never find it!”
This story might be true but is it wisdom? Or a truism - a statement that is obviously true and says nothing new or interesting.
Three weeks ago, we began unpacking four verses of one proverb to help us all come to see the depth of God’s truth. The scripture we will unpack is the one you heard at the beginning of service - Proverbs 30. In the last two week, we learned God uses small movements to make big changes as a way to ensure we recognize his role in our lives and the power he possesses because we could never have dreamed those 12 original knuckle heads would help the movement grow to over 2.3 billion today. This week we move to verse 26 but let me give you a little background.
The full name of Proverbs in Hebrew is the Proverbs of Solomon. However, this fact is debated. Some say Solomon wrote under pen names and others believe there are few written by later scribes. Whatever the truth is, today’s scripture is written by Agur. They are more than just “wisdom sayings” but an oracle. An oracle is a word from God - a direct revelation versus an observation like the other proverbs. The first verses point to the never ending knowledge, power and everlasting nature of God. As it reaches our verses, the reminders of the Son of man bringing God’s kingdom to humankind in the last days and the future hope when the messiah returns. It focuses on directing the reader’s attention beyond the everyday consequences of one’s action to the future when God holds everyone accountable for their deeds. Let's begin today with a single verse from Proverbs 30:26
hyraxes are creatures of little power,
yet they make their home in the crags;
Hyraxes are called rock rabbits or dassies. They are small like rabbits and eat plant life to survive. Like the rabbits that eat your spring flowers, they’re hunted by all kinds of predators and burrow in between rocks for safety.
A good friend says language matters. Words are important. The words we chose help paint the picture of what we are trying to convey. They also help others “see” our point. A friend labels his rebel outposts - micro churches. A word that highlights size and function for references sake. These are NOT small groups, life groups, bible studies or home groups. They differ from these groups because they have a vision and mission to expand the kingdom of God in very unique ways.
For example, did you know there is a collection of women who, inspired by the love of Christ, have started a ministry using the hula hoop. It’s a ministry whereby the leader and few in her collective have traveled the world sharing the love of Jesus with a hula hoop. A simple toy developed years ago has brought thousands to Jesus through their intersection with these women and their personal stories.